A few days ago my husband, Scott, said to me, “How many 30 year olds do you think know what a tea towel actually is?”. I sat there thinking as he told me he didn’t know what a tea towel was until I started weaving them (despite the many we have gotten over the years). However, I know what he was getting at. The term ‘tea towel’ may not be as common as it used to be. So I did a quick Google search, and found out that “The tea towel, by any other name, is still a tea towel, and it derives its name from Victorian Era England where the tradition of serving tea in the social setting took off. Teatime went from the simple service of tea and perhaps biscuits to eventually becoming the late afternoon/early evening High Tea, or supper time.” If you’re just dying to know more, you can click the rest of the information here.
Today, tea towels are more often seen as not-so-absorbent towels with cute sayings or pictures. Such as, “I’m outdoorsy in that I like to drink on patios”. I may own that one. They are often used the same as a dish towel because all in all they are seen as regular towels. The tea towels I weave and sell aren’t like the non-absorbent ones with cute sayings. The ones I make are made with 100% cotton, super absorbent, and can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, wherever!
I realize the term tea towel can seem dated (maybe that's why my husband thinks it’s weird I use that term), but I think it sets it apart from your average dish towel. Tea towels have more sophistication, and if you’re spending $45 on a towel, you better be getting something sophisticated, am I right?
In the end, the term ‘tea towel’ is another name for a regular towel. You can have tea while you use you. You can dry dishes with it. You can use it as a table decoration. You can use it as a hand towel in the bathroom. You can stuff it in your drawer never to be seen again. The possibility are endless.